The State of CBA Suspense
The state of CBA fiction is something that has been concerning me lately. Not the sales or the popularity of it, in this economy that seems to be holding its own. The thing that concerns me are the trends. Have you seen the latest Christian Book Distributor’s catalogs? The vast majority of fiction listed is Amish and sweet romance. In the latest fiction catalog, the first half of the booklet was devoted to Amish and romance. Suspense was way back on page forty-eight, after Westerns and Fantasy. Ouch!
What’s happening here? Is suspense being pushed out?
My friend, Eric Wilson, recently sent this sobering email to his email list (I’m using it with his permission):
This is the last chance . . .
If you haven’t heard already, Valley of Bones, the last book in the Jerusalem’s Undead Trilogy will be out next April. My sales in the Christian market have been anemic, and my career in doing edgier books there is over after this. Please . . . help spread the word about this series to make room for others in the market. It’s sad to me that the latest ChristianBook.com catalog is overrun with Amish and romance titles. The readers have spoken, and there is no more room for my style of books.
At least not here.
I’ll be pitching a new series to the mainstream market (where I’ve always wanted to be anyway), and I have a high-octane NY agent who believes in what I’m doing. Let’s get the Jerusalem’s Undead Trilogy moving off the shelves to get some more NY attention.
Folks, to me, that’s sad and scary. If this trend keeps up, more and more CBA suspense authors will be following Eric. I’m not sure what is happening or why but Eric is right, the readers are speaking and suspense seems to be on its way out. Seems to be . . . maybe we’re wrong (I sure hope so).
Now, I know there are a lot of suspense fans out there. I get emails from them just about every day. But for some reason, I’m thinking the sales aren’t showing it. Or maybe there just aren’t enough titles to compete with the other genres. Hmmm.
Any thoughts on this? Any ideas? I’d love to hear them.
By the way, I got the release date for Darlington Woods: May 4, 2010.